TWO teenagers who left a man lying lifeless in the street following an unprovoked drunken attack have been jailed.
Raffaele Bretti and Billy Wherry said they set upon their victim because they thought he had been rude to a girl they knew who was badgering him for a cigarette.
The 18-year-olds and a third man, who was never caught, put him to the ground then rained kicks on his prone body, running off when they saw he was unconscious.
Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court victim Scott Baxter, a man in his early thirties, was attacked on the night of October 10.
She said he had been having a couple of pints in Yates’, on Bridge Street, killing time before picking his girlfriend up from work.
As he left he was approached by a young woman who, seeing he was smoking, asked him to give her a cigarette.
When he declined she became abusive and swearing, saying ‘Do you think you are a big man, why are you refusing me a cigarette?’ He thought the female, who was in a group of young men, was trying to provoke a confrontation saying things like ‘Do you want to hit me?’ as she followed after him.
“Mr Baxter continued to walk on his way, trying to put some distance between him and the female,” Miss Hingston said.
“Then without provocation the defendant Bretti approached first, grabbed him by the shoulder and punched him once to the face.
“Mr Wherry was close behind and the pair grabbed him and swung him to the ground.
“Once he was prone on the ground he was then kicked repeatedly. One other male then joined in who aimed a further kick.”
The attackers fled and when he came round the victim called the police and the pair were identified from CCTV footage.
Miss Hingston said the pair claimed the victim had assaulted one of their friends earlier in the evening and made a lewd comment to the girl, both of which he denies.
Bretti, of Park Lane, and Wherry, of Avebury Road, Penhill, pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm.
Martin Wiggins, for Wherry, said his client, who was drunk, thought he heard the victim make ‘improper comments’ to the girl and stepped in to help out his friend.
Rob Ross, for Bretti, said his client was just 17 at the time of the incident and could not remember it as he was so drunk.
Bretti was jailed for eight months and Wherry for six months.